Superfan Rian Johnson made a commercial for Pokemon Go Fest 2020

(Image credit: Niantic)

Pokemon Go Fest 2020 (opens in new tab) is nearly here and to celebrate there's a brand-new commercial for the event directed by Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson. Check it out here (opens in new tab).

The 30-second commercial is called "Look Closer" and plays on the game's central premise - the world of Pokemon bleeding into our reality, or in this case, peeling away the layers of the real world to discover the wonders that lie beneath. I'm especially partial to the Pokemon Go grandma, who is giving me big Opal from Pokemon Sword and Shield (opens in new tab) energy. The commercial was filmed in New Zealand, with Johnson directing remotely from Los Angeles - the wonder of technology, am I right?

Johnson, who also directed the excellent Knives Out, is a Pokemon Go superfan who has turned to the game to help keep occupied during COVID-19. "Pokemon Go has kept me engaged with my friends remotely as I've been practicing physical distancing," he says in an official statement on Niantic's blog (opens in new tab). "As a longtime Pokemon trainer, it was a real pleasure working with Niantic on this spot. It was a new experience for me to direct a production remotely, and I enjoyed the highly collaborative process and think we put together a fun and upbeat commercial that fans will enjoy.

Pokemon Go Fest 2020, which runs July 25 and 26, is going virtual this year, with cheaper tickets offering trainers rotating habitats centered around fire, water, grass, battle, and friendship. The event going virtual hasn't stopped trainers from showing up en masse and buying over 700,000 tickets, with all proceeds going to nonprofit organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Be the very best with our Pokemon GO guide (opens in new tab)

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.